“Now you can call it positive / you can call it backpack / you can call it street shit / you can call it nerd rap / but no matter what you call it / y’all the fact is we got the phat shit”
“Feeding Einstein” is one of those albums that take a few spins to fully digest. The first time around I wasn’t really feelin’ it. It tasted a little TOO backpacky. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just not my drink of choice. But after the second or third listen, these guys started to grow on me. Junk Science, comprised of emcee Baje One and producer Snafu, release a debut that covers a plethora of topics that, while at times seems disjointed, proves that the crew is versatile.
The duo announces it’s arrival with “The Junk-Off” (“And trust me, matter fact trust your ears / It’s a type of vibe that takes more than a couple years / to marinate so it can get done right / and we underground now but I love the sunlight”) and then it’s off to the races. From a search for purpose (“Just One Thing”) to musing about how time flies (“You Never Know”) to discussing racial identity (“House Wigger”), Junk Science isn’t afraid to tackle substantive topics. No where is this more apparent than the bluntness of the latter. Baje One doesn’t sidestep the issue whatsoever, attacking it head on with no consideration for political correctness, just how we like it. Read these lyrics carefully: “It’s the same thing, it’s even worse / if you’re racist on the low telling fucked-up jokes / So when them black kids step in the spot, you shut down / Run across the room just to give ‘em a pound / That’s bitch, that’s material, stop runnin’ / You barely even foolin’ yourself, it’s not funny / Need to turn off the tele’ / need to stop watchin’ “Belly” / Need to stop with all the Makaveli / It’s a fetish, see you don’t like the fact / that if you wanna be Black, there’s nothing whiter than that / There’s a history there, for real, so you’ll might / wanna learn about it fore you pick up a mic / or tell another racist joke cause I figure / you’ll end up being just another house wigger / So why did the white kid cross the road? / He didn’t, the road’s not crossable”.
Think the group’s being too critical of others? “Roads” proves they aren’t afraid to take an honest look in the mirror either. Nonsense tracks like “Mashed Topatoes” demonstrate Junk Science can loosen up and rock a party every now and then. The downside to “Feeding Einstein” is the result of a double-edged sword. Junk Science covers multiple topics which causes a slight discontinuity in the album. This may not be a problem for some listeners, but to me cohesiveness is an important measurement of an album. At times the album feel more like a compilation than a group debut.
Despite a few minor setbacks, Junk Science comes through with an impressive debut sure to please college campus inhabitants everywhere. These are the type of artists you can only hope for, ones who will push the limits of what hip-hop artists can or should talk about. When current media darling Kanye West dropped “Jesus Walks” a while back, it shocked everyone because it was “too real”. I can only hope Junk Science’s “House Wigger” real talk catches on too.
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